Segments in this Video

Gaining Control of Production (03:40)


The inside of a late 19th-century warehouse appears chaotic, more a series of separate shops than a manufacturing effort at large. As factories got bigger, management had less control of production.

Human Workers: Weak Links (03:44)

Even as a child Frederick Taylor was preoccupied with the concept of control--of himself and of processes. Taylor wanted to take away the control of production from the skilled craftsmen because he did not trust human efficiency.

Timed Tasks: "Scientific Management" (01:32)

Under Frederick Taylor's instruction, tasks were broken down into timed steps. Every worker must produce the amount specified in the way specified by the efficiency formula. Taylor's system separated manual labor from conceptual work.

Human Movement Studies and Scientific Management (04:56)

Eadweard Muybridge's photographs were studies of humans and animals in motion. He, like Taylor, believed in the efficacy of scientific investigation. "Scientific management controlled worker efficiency by confining them to repetitive tasks."

Automation (02:49)

Computer tapes tell machines what to do in the early days of automation. Viewers see archival film footage of a sales presentation for a VMM--Virtual Modular Manufacturing machine.

What a Machinist Does (02:32)

A machine shop owner describes his work, beginning with the raw material to the finished part. Machinists are free to take individualistic approaches to their precision work.

Machines: People Replacements (04:35)

A programmable machine is hyped in archival film footage as a reasonable replacement for an older, skilled worker who is retiring. Frederick Taylor's vision of nearly 100 years ago would appear to be coming into focus.

Credits: Clockwork (00:58)

Credits: Clockwork

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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



One hundred years ago American management faced many of the problems it confronts today—poor productivity, rapid technological change, and heightened competition. This program shows how mechanical engineer Frederick Taylor attempted to meet these challenges through “scientific management,” an early 20th-century program aimed at organizing and making ruthlessly efficient all aspects of industrial production. The film includes original footage which Taylor and his peers shot for the pioneering time-motion studies that paved the way for automated assembly lines. (25 minutes)

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL49750

Copyright date: ©1982

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“An historic film. A great piece of work...I recommend its purchase by any university or business school.”  —Charles Wrege, Academy of Management historian

“Generates a healthy discussion of ‘scientific management’...American industry needs more such films.”  —David Shayt, Society of Industrial Archeology

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video and Dealer customers.